ComRes’s monthly online poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out, with topline figures of CON 32%(nc), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 9%(+1). Changes are from the last online ComRes poll a month ago and clearly show no significant change in support.

The Independent on Sunday seem to be going on the finding that respondents agreed with a statement that George Osborne should be replaced by 44% to 20% disagreeing, with 36% saying don’t know.

My reservations about whether it is appropriate to ask questions like this as agree/disagree statements have been well rehearsed, but in this case the figures seem broadly in line with other findings showing people would like Osborne replaced. YouGov asked whether Osborne should remain Chancellor or be replaced three weeks ago and found a similar sort of picture – 24% wanted him to stay, 45% wanted him replaced, 31% didn’t know. In a more nuanced question earlier this month Populus found 15% thinking Osborne was doing a good job and should stay, 31% thinking he should be doing better but should stay and 38% thinking he should be replaced. All three polls found about 1 in 5 Tory voters thought that Osborne should be replaced.

UPDATE: Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 7%. As usual I will update properly tomorrow morning once the tables are published.

50 Responses to “ComRes/Indy on Sun – CON 32, LAB 42, LD 10”

  1. We need to talk about George. Is George Osborne a drag on Tory support? ;-)

  2. Amber – is an interesting question. My normal assumption is that beyond the party leader, who symbolises and characterises the party as a whole and may or may not be Prime Minister depending on how people vote, other ministers are largely irrelevant, in most cases normal people are barely aware of who they are.

    The Chancellor though may be a different case – they inevitably are a national figure who non-political people have real opinions about, and at a time when the economy is by far the most important issue it is plausible that they may have some impact. Indeed, Alistair Darling had much better ratings than other Labour ministers at the 2010 election and Osborne had very poor ones, so it’s possible he was a drag on them at the last election.

    It is, however, something that is pretty much impossible to test.

  3. The question….is it that Osborne is unpopular because he has merely become associated with ConDem economic policy (i.e. he is a figurehead for the ConDem cuts agenda), or is it that he is disliked on a more personal level?

    This question has interesting political ramifications because, if, as I suspect, it is ‘mainly’ because of the former, then replacing Osborne with someone else would probably not only prove unsuccessful, it may also risk making the Conservatives look weak, indecisive and divided.

    Personally, although I have always found Osborne a bit irritating, I think he is merely incurring the wrath of the British electorate for being the figurehead of Conservative (and Lib Dem) economic policy.

  4. During the election campaign it was reported that “the Tory shadow chancellor is viewed – both by Lib Dem and Labour strategists – as the weak link”.

    That may explain why, other than at the Channel 4 debate with Alistair Darling and Vince Cable on March 29, George Osborne was seldom seen.

  5. I’ve always thought that if you were the kind of person who despises posh boys with trust fund funded lives telling the country to snap out of its entitlement culture , then Osborne is even more despicable tha Cammo…not much in it though!

  6. Good Evening All.

    I believe that George Osborne is a good man.

    Terrific interview with Ken Clarke in The Times;maybe he will yet be the next Chancellor.

    I love his line that he does have a mobile phone, but he never puts it on, since people phone him up.

    He also reacted with horror at the prospect of reading his Red Box material on his holidays.

  7. @Billy Bob,

    But again – is that because at the last General Election that he was harping on about how the Tories would cut spending faster than Thatcher? I don’t think that would make anyone popular with the general public, and is a very hard sell IMO. If he had promised that the cuts would be postponed and not be as severe, I am pretty sure his personal ratings would have been somewhat better. As it was, a lot of people simply didn’t like his cuts agenda.

    If you look at George’s disapproval ratings during this parliament, considering we are in recession and his government are implementing widespread spending cuts, I don’t think they were too bad until the last budget. After the last budget, he predictably got the blame for implementing deep cuts and a shoddy and poorly thought-out budget, and his disapproval ratings rocketed accordingly.

  8. @ Anthony

    It is, however, something that is pretty much impossible to test.
    Osborne’s current impact may be ‘testible’ though, if somebody will pay to do it… maybe Lord Ashcroft will oblige.

    The Ashcroft analysis showed the economy to be, potentially, the most important element if there’s to be any hope of achieving a Tory majority. Osborne may not have the credibility needed to carry that burden. IMO, At some point, Ashcroft is going to have to ‘talk about George’.

    BTW, thank you for realising that I wasn’t altogether joking when I made my comment.

  9. @Ewen,

    “I’ve always thought that if you were the kind of person who despises posh boys with trust fund funded lives telling the country to snap out of its entitlement culture , then Osborne is even more despicable tha Cammo…not much in it though!”

    It’s theoretically possible to clamp down on the entitlement culture and the banking/rich/posh boy culture. I don’t think I am the only one to want the government and society to clamp down on these problems with equal (and extreme) ferocity. In fact, opinion polls show that the vast majority of the general public agrees with my viewpoint in this matter.

    For me, whether someone is on welfare and out of work/having children due to laziness/because they are better off than working – or they are a rich, privileged person (legally) avoiding tax….I think both are very real problems in our society and should be stamped out and and the system should discourage such behaviour. Sadly, I can’t really any of the main parties dealing with any of these issues to any great extent….call me a cynic.

    I just thought I’d finish by saying that there is nothing wrong with being rich, priviliged or posh….as long as you pay your taxes. Just as there is nothing wrong with claiming benefits….if you can’t work and genuinely need them.

  10. Well,I do remember that Osborne kept a very low profile
    during the last election campaign.Obviously not seen as a
    great electoral asset then.And now?

  11. @Amber,

    I would be extremely surprised if that happens. As I said before, if they replace him as chancellor it will merely make the party look weak, indecisive and divided. It is also very unlikely that their new chancellor would be at all popular if they have to implement the same ConDem financial policy of tax rises and spending cuts.

    Like it or not, George will probably be here to stay.

  12. A lot of the time a chancellor (or shadow chancellor) gets tarnished by his own party’s reputation/economic policy. I mean, take Ed Balls – I don’t necessarily think he is a bad politician or a drag on Labour, but yet he is more unpopular than Osborne with the general public. His disapproval ratings are shocking for a shadow chancellor, but I kind of like him.

  13. @AmbivalentSupporter

    Wikileaks reported that Mervin King warned the US ambassador on Feb 16 2010 that Cameron and Osborne lacked expirience, relied too heavily on a narrow circle of advisers and “had a tendency to think about issues only in terms of politics, and how they might affect Tory electorability [sic]”.

    “Mr King also said he had held private meetings with the Tory leader and Mr Osborne before the election to urge them to draw up a detailed plan to reduce the deficit.”

    Osborne had made a speech in the autumn of 2009 about austerity, cutting the deficit etc… then went quiet because the polls showed it was not popular. Imo King thought a Conservative victory inevitable, knew that the City etc would react badly unless Osborne showed a sense of direction – and it was for this reason that King browbeat Clegg and Cable into a u-turn on their economic philosophy and making immediate noises about how the UK faced crisis unless thre was an immediate deficit plan – the downturn in business confidence and double-dip might suggest this was an overeaction and a miscalculation.

    Osborne himself moved to address his percieved lack of expirience by way of a series of widely publicised conferences with former Tory chancellors prior to the CSR and his first budget.

  14. Another non-YouGov poll putting the Tories in the low 30s.


  15. I am quite certain that Osborne is here to stay,not because”he is a good man” but because Cameron and
    Osborne are inextricably linked.One without the other are

  16. Billy Bob,interesting comments.So we have Mervyn King
    to thank for all this.Not surprised.

  17. @Billy Bob,

    “Osborne had made a speech in the autumn of 2009 about austerity, cutting the deficit etc… then went quiet because the polls showed it was not popular.”

    Exactly my point. The greater part of his unpopularity, save his irritating grin, was caused by his association with Tory economic policy of massive spending cuts (and tax rises).

    A bit like, for me, Ed Balls isn’t really unpopular because he is incompetent, but because he is still associated with Labour’s tarnished econonic brand (rightly or wrongly). Should Labour get rid of Balls, especially as polls show he is less trusted by the British public than Osborne? Of course, they shouldn’t!

  18. Amber – hard to test anyway. What woukd be interesting would be to run to BES questions mid-term and run the same key driver analysis the BES team run at election time. It could test George, but more interestingly we could see if people do think less about leaders and more about govt approval away from election time.

  19. George O has a terrible press, this indicates very weak pr by both the Tories, and actually LDs as well.

    We have a fantastically strong currency, reflecting massive inward investment, unemployment and inflation are falling and the debt is being paid off quicker than expected. However, the Tories have tried to make little capital out of this. GO has made mistakes but the press concentrates on this rather than his successes.

    Meanwhile the LD vote is gradually recovering. I anticipate this will continue. 11% may be a outlier but there appears to be a trend

  20. if we are talking about GO then perhaps it is time to mention that it sounds like the recession we are in has gone on for another quarter. It might not be very deep but it’s wide.

  21. I often look at the general mood of the nation as expressed in various online sites/comment pages etc. The government are not receiving any positive hearing for anything they have got to say. This is unlikely to change, if they move George Osborne to another role and replace him with say Philip Hammond. Hammond is a much better communicator than Osborne, but unless he signals a change in policy direction, he won’t turn arounds the fortunes of the coalition partners.

    The problem for the government, is that many economists cannot see a brighter outlook for the economy, even in the distant future. Even Cameron was talking about semi-permanent austerity until 2020 and possibly beyond.

    If Obama wins another term, we could see the US going for growth, with further forms of stimulus applied. Socaliberal was suggesting that Obama may look to change the debt cap that was applied, as it may be better to add a little more debt, if it gets the economy going. Then with more growth, you gain more tax revenues and can pay down the debt quicker. If this is shown to work, we could see a change in policy in other countries. If the coalition refuse and stick with austerity plan A, there will be warnings from the IMF and others, that the government are following the wrong path, if they want growth.

  22. Henry
    What is your source for your contention that the National Debt ‘is being paid off quicker than expected’.

    My sources tell me the that it isn’t being ‘paid off’ and is increasing. Same for % of GDP.

    I think dumping Osborne would be an act of cowardice by Cameron, but so what’s new?

  23. HENRY.
    Hello, it has been some time since you were here I think.

    The economy looks weaker than you seem to be saying.
    ‘Ming’ was on the Radio 4 Week in Westminster this morning, interesting to hear it was.

    Labour would welcome good lib dems with open arms.

  24. I do think personal style is a contributing factor in any politician’s popularity or not. Their policies are judged of course and someone with poor presentation skills can get away with those if the policies are popular. However even now people mention Michael Foot’s attire at the Cenotaph which defined Labour for a time or Brown’s perceived rudeness to Gillian on the campaign trail. So gaffes and presentational errors can stick.

    In Osborne’s case comments like he didn’t realise the rich avoided tax have begun to stick and define him as ‘out of touch’ and even a bit stupid. Not good attributes for a chancellor. Of course all this is mainly due to his poor press coverage and if the papers decided to ‘re-present’ him in a better light he might yet recover. On the whole though it is the double act of Cameron and George that seems to have recently come under attack and therefore one seems inexorably bound to the other.

  25. @Henry – “We have a fantastically strong currency, reflecting massive inward investment, unemployment and inflation are falling and the debt is being paid off quicker than expected.”

    ? Err – either this is an attempt at humour, or you’ve got a highly misleading way of assessing facts.

    The pound has weakened against the dollar over the last year, with a sharp fall particularly in the last quarter. It’s rising against the Euro, but don’t kid yourself – that says more about the EZ problems.

    Overall investment is down massively – this is one of the reasons that we are in recession, and while UK still leads Europe for inward investment, this is against a general decline, and clear evidence that the inward investment to the UK is slowing, while it is rising in Germany. Have a look at this, from the Telegraph on 20th June; ” The 679 UK projects funded by foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011 represent a 7pc decline on the previous year, according to Ernst & Young.

    Germany’s share of inward investment rose by 15pc over the same period and it now trails the UK by just 2pc in terms of European countries’ share of FDI.
    It also secured more manufacturing projects from overseas investors than the UK for the first time in 15 years and won twice as many projects from Chinese businesses.
    Ernst & Young said “the level of domestic demand is the single most important factor” in investment decisions. ”

    Unemployment measured by the claimant count has been rising, although employment is up and wider unemployment is down. However, productivity has slumped faster than employment has risen, according the latest ONS stats.

    Inflation is down, but largely due to falling demand.

    No debt is being paid off – it’s still rising month on month, although I think you’re talking about the deficit. If you are, we’ve had four months of worse than expected figures, with the deficit running higher than last years monthly figures.

    I admire optimism, but not willful ignorance of the facts.

  26. As far as I can tell, Osborne’s reputation for political wizardry is based on his 2007 Tory Party conference speech where his populist proposal on inheritance tax was thought to have wrong footed Brown’s plans to call a snap election. Polls at the time were putting Labour 10% ahead and rumours were rife that Brown would go to the country in order to obtain a mandate of his own, but Osborne’s intervention turned the polls around, spooking Brown and luring him into “the election that never was” fiasco. His premiership never recovered, although the financial crash in 2008, and the subsequent recession, might have had rather more to do with it. However, Osborne’s offer on inheritance tax has entered political mythology and it had much to do with establishing his reputation as a politician with well honed antennae.

    Mind you, there may be much more myth than reality going on here, I think. What other evidence is there of a gifted politician at work? He was in charge of strategy, wasn’t he, when the Tories failed to win the “open goal” election of 2010, and I remember during that campaign how poorly he performed in the Chancellor TV debates. Cable wiped the floor with him with a smirking Alistair Darling looking on from the sidelines. And what of his performance of Chancellor? A double-dip recession and a disastrously conceived and delivered budget in March that plunged both his government and his party into serious political trouble.

    I never did get this thing about Osborne, I have to say, and I rather suspect he’s been badly found out.

  27. Linking this to the previous thread, ComRes asked “do you think Cameron/Miliband/Clegg is turning out to be a good Prime Minister/Leader of the Labour Party/Leader of the Liberal Democrats”. The net agreement/disagreement is
    Cameron -27
    Miliband -17
    Clegg -42

    So, Miliband leads Cameron by 10%, identical to the VI lead. No sign there of any underperformance by Miliband.

  28. Anthony
    On this drag factor debate, more particularly re EM, are you sufficiently factoring in policy management and presentation up to the election? The perception of a Labour PM is going to be bound up with having the Unions and public sector on board in economic recovery, requiring non-assertive qualities and in-touch responses, already playing a part in Ed’s changing image in media reporting, and, I wot, planned to be increasing so as the months go by. I.e. a changed perception of what voters are looking for, especially in a Labour leader if it’s Labour they want, able to harness public and labour force leadership throughout the economy in a major recovery and radical institutional reform.

  29. @ Billy Bob (from the previous thread)

    “Made me think of a description of Bunker Hill in Raymond Candler’s High Window (1942):

    “Bunker Hill is old town, lost town, crook town. Once long ago, it was the choice residential district of the city, and there are still standing a few of the jigsaw Gothic mansions with wide porches and walls covered with round-end shingles and full corner bay windows with spindle turrets. They are all rooming houses now…”

    I understand the whole area was subject to a massive slum-clearance project from 1955 onwards, but it still exists in my imagination.”

    OMG, you know about Bunker Hill? Forget the Beatles, the Spice Girls, Elton John, Adele, K.T. Tunstall, Steven Davies, John Maynard Keynes, Alan Turing, or Andy Murray….you, Billy Bob, are one of the most awesome and coolest Britons ever! :)

    (Sorry, I can barely contain my excitement here).

    So as for Bunker Hill, it is an abject lesson in how NOT to do urban planning. They took a densely populated neighborhood full of beautiful old buildings that today would be historically significant and tore it all down to put up mostly ugly office towers (and eventually some very ugly apartment towers for senior citizens). The towers were economic disasters too for a long time, struggling with high vacancy rates. They also built some very ugly public buildings and some truly awful looking parks that are mostly unused (the exception being the recently built and by recent, I mean 2009, Angels Knoll Park, which was supposed to be the third tower of the California Plaza developments). There are also two ugly malls that suffered for a long time to attract tenants (they’re not very good malls). Also, when they went ahead with their urban renewal program, they dismantled LA’s lone subway line.

    Chandler’s description is fairly accurate. It used to be one of the premiere neighborhoods in LA back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s but it slowly declined and by the 40’s was a slum. It’s a description that is really shown well in the great film (taking place in the 1950’s) in LA Confidential. Now the scenes filmed in “Bunker Hill” weren’t filmed there but actually nearby in a part of Pico-Union that looks similar.

    Now the slum clearance plan was approved in 1955 but I think it actually took place in 1958 or 1959.

    I have long theorized that the destruction of Bunker Hill and the clearance of Chavez Ravine to build Dodger Stadium contributed to the upset defeat of then Mayor Norris Poulson (R-CA) at the hands of Sam Yorty (D-CA) in the 1961 Los Angeles Mayoral race. You can read it here if you’d like.

    But fear not, Bunker Hill doesn’t have to be relegated just your imagination. There are numerous photos of the old neighborhood available in books (I have two: Los Angeles: Then and Now by Rosemary Lord and Los Angeles: Past and Present by George Ross Jesek, Catherine Mullholland, and Marc Wanamaker). And there are a number of websites with old photos of what used to exist.

    Also, some of the old Bunker Hill still exists. At the foot of Bunker Hill, there are a handful of historic (and I might add architecturally significant and beautiful) buildings that still survive. One is the Central Library Building at 5th Street and Flower Street. Another is the Historic Subway Terminal Building at 4th Street and Hill Street. Another is the One Bunker Hill Building (sometimes known as the Edison Building) at 5th Street and Grand Avenue. Additionally, the 2nd Street and 3rd Street tunnels still survive (they were actually filmed and featured in that great 2009 movie “500 Days of Summer). Finally restored (although in a different place than it used to be), the Angels Flight railway has been restored and is back in operation.

    Also, it depends on how you define the boundaries of Bunker Hill but when the 110 freeway was built, it ran through what used to be considered Bunker Hill (also led to a lot of buildings being torn down) at least as had been developed by Prudent Beaudry. There are some streets just west of the 110 where you will still find some old apartment homes (granted, they’re mostly slum tenements) and a few single family Victorian homes that might be considered Bunker Hill relics.

    Finally, should you ever have the chance of visiting LA and you want to see Bunker Hill architecture, there is a museum known as Heritage Square. It’s a little plot of land off the 110 (do NOT take the Gold Line metro to get there as the station stop known as “Heritage Square” is in a bad neighborhood and far away from the actual Heritage Square) where about 8 of the homes on Bunker Hill were moved prior to demolition. Today they’re restored and you can visit them.

    Also, your mention of this neighborhood made me do some searching tonight and I found this unique resource. Here are some color photos of the neighborhood from the late 1950’s just prior to demolition.

    h ttp://

    So it doesn’t just have to be relegated to your imagination. :)

  30. @ Billy Bob

    Check some of these great images out. Sorry, you’ve really triggered me here.

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp://

    h ttp:// (this one shows a very similar shot but from a different angle that really shows you what the inner neighborhoods looked like).

    h ttp:// (some of the photos are not of Bunker Hill but the ones that are are some of the best I’ve ever seen and present unique photos of the neighborhoods that aren’t just of Angel’s Flight or some of the other landmarks….they actually give you a feel for what it looked like).

    So gone? Yes. But forgotten? No. And it need not live in your imagination only.


  31. @ Billy Bob

    Thanks to you, I have just discovered something totally incredible I’ve never seen before. I loved this.

    Actual film footage of the neighborhood!!! Now it’s in black and white and incomplete but it’s shown at a time when the neighborhood was in existence, not just for posterity (some of the photos taken were taken in 1958 or 1959 just prior to demolition).

    I’m still trying to find an old map I found online a few years ago. I found some other old maps of the city center. They’re important for defining what constitutes Bunker Hill west of the 110 freeway because while many of the old streets are completely gone, there are a few that are still there and west of the 110, weren’t included in the CRA plan to redevelop (and there Raymond Chandler’s description may arguably still exist).

  32. Howard, Chris Lane, etc.

    Hi- on the radio a Tory spokesman said they had reduced the debt quicker than expected. I thought it was DC himself, but could be wrong. Anyway, I may have been misled, if so not for the first time.

    I do not accept any suggestion that sterling is not very strong; currently the rest of the world is looking to sterling and not the Euro or the Dollar as a haven.

    The pound is far too strong. Perhaps we should take measures like Switzerland to reduce the value of our currency. As it could damage exports.

  33. Approval Ratings –
    Cameron -23 (+2)
    Miliband -20 (+1)
    Clegg -53 (+6)
    All within normal ranges – Cameron and Miliband still virtually neck and neck with Miliband ever so slightly in the lead.

    Is George Osborne doing a good job?
    Good – 15 (nc)
    Bad – 55 (-1)
    Net: -40 (+1)
    +1 on Net figures caused by increase in DKs.

    Which government policy best reflects your view?
    Stick to deficit reduction – 31 (+1)
    Concentrate on growth – 43 (+5)

    Should George Osborne remain?
    Remain – 20 (-4)
    Be replaced – 48 (+3)
    Net: -28 (-7)

    If Cameron were to replace Osborne who would make his best replacement?
    Cable – 22% [1]
    Hague – 16%
    Clarke – 9%
    Hammond – 3%
    May – 2%
    Clegg – 2%

    [1] Cable’s support is caused primarily by high figures from Labour and LibDem voters.
    Whether this means that Cable is actually popular with Labour voters or if he’s just ‘not a Tory and not Clegg’ is another question.
    Has an approval question for Cable been asked since the formation of the coalition?

  34. Good Morning folks.

    A few Comres poll graphs. I’m trying out some different graph formats, so populated a few for fun:

    I focussed on the ‘DC Eton’, Tony Blair, and GO as Exchequer questions.

    The DC Eton question is largely unsurprising. It is interesting though that a Comprehensive education (Ed Miliband) is probably not an issue, even though an Etonian education is probably a better one (for the pupil). Both have their drawbacks, but I assume the party political views are strong. I’d love to see a similar question on Oxford Uni education, to see how the leaders are treated.

    34% of Labour voters feel that Tony Blair still has a lot to offer the country (but in what capacity?). 45% of Lab voters disagree with this, while every other group of voters are over 50%. Strangely, the SNP voters are highest of the ‘Don’t Knows’, with 29%. Don’t care perhaps? Tactical thinking?

    The chancellor is not too popular, but few are. It’s interesting that there’s a high proportion of ‘Don’t Knows’:

    Green 42%
    PC 41%
    Lib 38%
    Con 36%
    BNP 34%
    Lab 24%
    UKIP 21%
    SNP 18%
    Other 11%

    Perhaps some are given GO the benefit of the doubt until nearer the election, or don’t believe he’s to blame for (or able to resolve) the financial problems.

    A couple of decent success stories for GO, and he could easily improve his ratings. Perhaps there will be 2014/15 sweetners.

  35. @Henry

    I do not accept any suggestion that sterling is not very strong; currently the rest of the world is looking to sterling and not the Euro or the Dollar as a haven.


    Not really.

    The dollar and the pound are trading at the same rate now that they have been for most of the last 12 months+.

    Dollars and pounds are being bought in equal measure.

    And the drop off in trading in euros is almost wholly down to the recent drop in ez rates. The ez crisis – barring that reduction in rates – has so far had mininal effect on currency trading.

  36. Big Tim, I am in the export business and as you say you $/£ rate has fluctuated in a fairly narrow range for a year or so; in fact for the last month or 2 the £ has been at the lower end of that range.

    The slide in the £ previously against the $ was a significant factor in ‘high’ inflation and the broad parity for the last year a big reason the rate has fallen at last, back within target range recently.

  37. This is worth a read, if you want an outsiders view, looking at London in 2012, compared with 1948.

  38. GO’s biggest failure is to have taken two million people on the lowest incomes out of tax altogether., and still become more unpopular.

    Perhaps those benefiting next April, when their Tax Free Allowance goes up by £1100 will remember who did it.
    Doubt it though.

    Labour’s relentless focus on bandwagons ( of which there have been convoys) , and sound byte attacks has been brilliant-and in stark contrast to any effort by this Government to publicise it’s achievements.

    Quite why the abject failure of “education, education, education” isn’t rammed down our throats every single day is beyond me. From the constant complaints of hiring UK employers, to inward investors’ warnings,to the everlasting link between rising employment & foreign workers; the economically debilitating effects of UK’s skills black hole should be constantly emphasised by the Government alongside the IDS & Gove reforms.

    This Government is hopeless at getting it’s message across.

    That is why Pasty Tax trumped Income Tax -and which was most important for our economy ?-pathetic.

  39. “That is why Pasty Tax trumped Income Tax -and which was most important for our economy ?-pathetic.”
    I suspect that it’s a dual problem –
    Firstly, the narrative of ‘we’re all in this together’ and ‘these cuts are absolutely necessary’ were undermined by tax cuts for the rich (whether objectively a good thing or not) and tax increases on the poor.
    A government which undermines it’s own narrative (say one thing, do another) is going to be unpopular.

    Secondly, the pasty tax was just surreal – why someone in the treasury didn’t speak up and point out how it would come off with the public is beyond me.

    The income tax threshold movement would probably have been more popular, had it not be drowned by ‘Party of the rich!’ policies.

  40. @Henry – “…on the radio a Tory spokesman said they had reduced the debt quicker than expected. I thought it was DC himself, but could be wrong. Anyway, I may have been misled, if so not for the first time.”

    Yes it’s funny that – you would have thought a Tory politician on the radio would have admitted that they’ve had to alter their borrowing plans to add another £50b to the debt by 2015, extended their target for deficit reduction as they will miss their original target, and seen monthly borrowing higher than last year for the last few months.

    I dunno – is it a new thing that politicians don’t always tell the truth? It was never like this in my day….

    @Colin – it is interesting that the nub of your post is that the Cameron government are struggling with their presentation. I also think you have a really strong point on education.

    I think that a large part of the problem is the nature of the ground, however. Farmers can sow good seed on infertile ground and they won’t get much of a crop. The tax threshold change is fine, but against the recent squeeze in spending power and VAT rise, people are worse off. Telling them they are better off will only make them less inclined to accept anything you say.

    If the general economy turns, the government will find a more fertile ground for their messages.

  41. @SoCalLiberal – ” …you, Billy Bob, are one of the most awesome and coolest Britons ever!”

    Yeah… I guess it’s nice to see it in print though. Thanks the info, really appreciate it.

    Great shots of Bunker Hill, and the drive through film archive is a gem. If that was a slum, it gives a hint as to why America was the phenomenon which had the rest of the world goggle-eyed for much of the century. I like the one pedestrian who raises his arm in a lackadaisical wave to the camera, and the $2.50-a-day car rental joint. After a spin round the hill it’s a pity they didn’t head out, keep the engine running and the camera rolling all day long.

    Before we get banned for subverting UKPR, there is a Chandler dedicated site:


    which has some information about vintage LA maps 1928-46.

    Also returning to politics for a moment,


    has a short documentary which ties detective thrillers in with the
    real-life history of mayor Frank L Shaw’s recall in 1938.

  42. alec

    Is the plan to drill down and use geothermal energy viable? Sounds too good to be true.

    Unlimited cheap energy?

  43. Don’t think cutting income tax for the poor actually means anything. What you gain on tax you lose on allowances – in fact I understand Minimum Income Guarantee for pensioners has been cut as part of the deal.

  44. Colin

    GO’s biggest failure is to have taken two million people on the lowest incomes out of tax altogether., and still become more unpopular.

    Perhaps those benefiting next April, when their Tax Free Allowance goes up by £1100[1] will remember who did it.

    The Lib Dems? Actually this government seems to have been oddly shy about promoting its changes that have helped the lower paid – I’ve pointed out before how last year’s raising of the threshold for NI has gone completely unnoticed and uncredited.

    I can only assume that the Tory Party and its allies are either terrified that (probably correctly) the junior coalition partners might get the kudos or alternatively that they’re horrified that their cleaners may actually be paying a lower rate of tax than themselves.

    Admittedly like other governments obsessed by PR, the current one seems particularly bad at it. For example there was no need to include the Pasty Tax in the budget at all – if they’d just issued a VAT guidance note separately, only a couple of dozen accountants would have noticed.

    But it’s never just about ‘presentation’. As tingedfringe pointed out, what really altered things in the Budget was the reduction in the top rate of tax. The media is hardly going to point this out because most of them had been calling for that very thing, but it’s what made the difference to ordinary people.

    [1] Er it doesn’t. According to HMRC, “For 2013-14 the personal allowance for those aged under 65 will be set at £9,205 and the basic rate limit at £32,245”. But I get the point you’re trying to make.

  45. @SoCalLiberal

    Some detailed commentary on the drive through:


    A detailed map must exist because a part of it is reproduced here:


    A real treasure trove.


    @”Er it doesn’t”

    ER it does :-

    “the income tax allowance for those aged under 65 will increase by £630 in cash terms to £8,105 in 2012-13.

    For 2013-14 the personal allowance for those aged under 65 will be set at £9,205 ”

    from your link.

  47. I wonder if there could be big problems brewing for either the government or
    Labour over the planned strike next week.Jeremy Hunt has ratcheted up the
    Tension with threats to sack the strikers.Could this lead to other unions coming
    Out in sympathy.After all they cannot sack everyone!Any strike during the
    Olympics will be bad news for Labour despiteEMs disownement of it.IMO.


    A one day strike may not have a lasting impact.

  49. Colin

    Oops I misread it as “goes up to £11,000”. Sorry, must get new glasses.

    But as I said the point remains that the public will credit the Lib Dems because it is such a headline policy of theirs and because the Tories seems unwilling to have anything to do with it.


    No worries.

    What an extraordinary thing to say.